All-Payer Analysis of Heart Failure Hospitalization 30-Day Readmission: Comorbidities Matter

Jonathan D. Davis, Margaret A. Olsen, Kerry Bommarito, Shane J. LaRue, Mohammed Saeed, Michael W. Rich, Justin M. Vader

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52 Scopus citations


Background Thirty-day readmission following heart failure hospitalization impacts hospital performance measures and reimbursement. We investigated readmission characteristics and the magnitude of 30-day hospital readmissions after hospital discharge for heart failure using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (SID). Methods Adults aged ≥ 40 years hospitalized with a primary discharge diagnosis of heart failure from 2007-2011 were identified in the California, New York, and Florida SIDs. Characteristics of patients with and without 7-, 8 to 30-, and 30-day readmission, and primary readmission diagnoses and risk factors for readmission were examined. Results We identified 547,068 patients with mean age 74.7 years; 50.7% were female, and 65.4% were White. Of 117,123 patients (21.4%) readmitted within 30 days (median 12 days), 69.7% had a non-heart failure primary readmission diagnosis. Patients with 30-day readmissions more frequently had a history of previous admission with heart failure as a secondary diagnosis, fluid and electrolyte disorders, and chronic deficiency anemia. There were no significant clinical differences at baseline between those patients whose first readmission was in the first 7 days after discharge vs in the next 23 days. The most common primary diagnoses for 30-day non-heart failure readmissions were other cardiovascular conditions (14.9%), pulmonary disease (8.5%), and infections (7.7%). Conclusions In this large all-payer cohort, ∼70% of 30-day readmissions were for non-heart failure causes, and the median time to readmission was 12 days. Future interventions to reduce readmissions should focus on common comorbid conditions that contribute to readmission burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93.e9-93.e28
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Heart failure
  • Patient readmission


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